5 Reasons to Deactivate Facebook

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Facebook is losing users worldwide, including more than 3 million U.S. profiles during February 2013. While this appears mostly due to the clean-up of fake and duplicate accounts, users deactivate their profiles regularly, whether it’s to take a break from social media or to try “the next big thing.” Of course, you can reactivate whenever you want–even if it’s just long enough to lurk and see what your friends are up to.

5 Reason #5: You’re Miserable

Using Facebook can lead to envy and loneliness, according to the results of a study summarized by the Chicago Tribune in January 2013. The report noted that about a third of all Facebook users actually felt worse about their lives after viewing the site, especially if they tended to be “lurkers” who didn’t make their own posts. Others’ vacation photos were a prime culprit, leading to resentment and envy. Facebook can also become a vehicle for chronic complaining, allowing people with a negative outlook to wallow in their feelings of misery–or drag other people’s moods down with them.

4 Reason #4: Your Transgressions Are on Record

Unless your privacy settings are super-tight, chances are good that photos from some of your wild party nights or pithy comments about religion, politics and social issues appear to people you didn’t necessarily intend to see them. When you’re looking for a new job, expect about a third of potential employers to check your Facebook profile before making their decision. The same applies to college applications, where it’s possible your 10th grade indiscretion could sabotage your chances of getting into your school of choice.

3 Reason #3: Everybody Knows Your Business

Sometimes they know it before you do! Breakups, illness, and other family and personal dramas are laid bare for the world to see–or at least the part of the world with access to your profile. A survey by Chicago-based research firm Lab42 showed that 40 percent of respondents had no objection to using technology to dump a lover, and that 33 percent had actually done so. When you have drama going on in your life, having it splashed across Facebook is just another way of enabling others to kick you when you’re down.

2 Reason #2: You’re Being Sold

Facebook is monetizing your life, and you can do nothing about it. As Business Insider points out, according to the site’s terms of service, Facebook owns everything you post on your profile. In spite of that fact, you’re expected to keep it up to date and if you don’t, Facebook’s administrators reserve the right to terminate your account. What this means is that you are working as an unpaid employee for Facebook, crowd-sourcing data for ad-targeting. You aren’t the customer; you’re the product being sold.

1 Reason #1: It’s Taking Over Your Life

If Facebook has become an addiction for you, you might decide to turn off the switch. According to the CNN Tech website, the average user spends six and a half hours a week on the site–but some people spend much more time than that. It’s been likened to an addiction, with users claiming that once they give in to the compulsion to check the news feed and their friends’ status updates, they lose hours before being able to log off. Students get distracted and procrastinate about studying for exams, but maybe the worst is when you are out with friends and nobody is talking…because you’re all busy updating your profiles.

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